The Detroit Pistons are continuing to round out their coaching staff with the addition of Jim Moran, most recently of the Portland Trail Blazers. When the Blazers hired Chauncey Billups, they allowed him to build his own assistant staff and all the coaches working under the deposed Terry Stotts were let go.
Moran fits a theme with the coaches the Pistons have added in the past several months — a background and focus on player development.
In Moran’s case, he started as a player development coach for the Main Red Claws in what is now the G League. He was then brought on board in Portland in 2014 as an associate video coordinator.
he spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach specializing in player development and worked closely with players including Gary Trent Jr. and Anfernee Simons. He also worked his way up to be a front-of-bench assistant under Stotts, meaning this is likely Detroit’s move in replacing Sean Sweeney, who left to join Jason Kidd on the sidelines in Dallas.
If you’re sensing a theme with the Pistons’ coaching additions, it is because most everyone added to the staff seems to have a deep background working in player development.
Just days ago, the Pistons were reported to be adding Andrew Jones III as an additional assistant. Jones spent the past two seasons working in Philadelphia and the previous five working with Troy Weaver in Oklahoma City.
During his OKC tenure, Jones was named senior performance analysis lead and player development coach.
Other coaches added to the staff earlier this offseason also had a big role in player development for their respective clubs. Jerome Allen worked closely with the young players as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics and interviewed for the head coaching job. He is credited with working with and having a great relationship with Jaylen Brown.
Bill Bayno, previously of the Indiana Pacers, also had a background in player development and in Indiana and a previous stop in Toronto under Dwane Casey worked with Jonas Valanciunas, Terrance Ross, Delon Wright, Norm Powell, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, Edmon Sumner and Aaron Holiday.
The Pistons also added former University of Michigan head coach Jon Beilein as a senior adviser with a focus on player development.
Dwane Casey was given wide latitude to remake his assistant coaching staff this offseason after a few years with the same veteran crew. Those assistants — Micah Nori, Sidney Lowe and Sweeney, were brought on to a veteran team looking to make the playoffs.
The Pistons are now one of the youngest teams in the league and have four selections in this week’s NBA Draft (for now). With young players taking the lion’s share of the minutes and being the focus going forward, it makes sense to revamp the staff and bring in guys with history bringing the best out of young players.